Here's an interesting story on the new world of self publishing. It shows well what authors face just getting their work into print. For myself, I learned long ago that the only way to get a trade publisher's attention is to know someone (rant coming on "Eragon") or to have an established name that will guarantee sales. Next time you're in a bookstore check out the number of book covers on which the author's name is in bigger type than the title. And you can't really fault publishers for this, because traditional publishing has extremely small profit margins, and publishers do have to stay in business.
Here's an apocryphal tale about Eric Metaxis' recent biography about Dietrich Bonhoeffer. His original publishing deal was with Harper Collins, but once they saw the manuscript they decided it could make money at only half that length, presumably simply because of production costs. So Metaxis took it to Thomas Nelson, who published it untruncated, and it has become a best-seller. So there you have it. But it does illustrate the pressures and worries of the traditional publishing world.
So what's the point? Really it is that the article mentions marketing issues, but doesn't offer any ideas that a self-published author can use to market his book. As I've said here before, my approach is to have only enough hard copies to have a token existence of "The Job," and to send them out to reviewers and contests. Also, hit internet networking as hard as possible. Beyond that, what else can an author do? I was hoping for some other ideas from the article, but there were none.